Premier League
Cardiff2Sunderland2

Cardiff City 2-2 Sunderland

Steven Fletcher equalises

Sunderland scored two late goals to rescue a Premier League point against Cardiff City in the first match since the Bluebirds sacked Malky Mackay.

The hosts dominated and were in control after Jordon Mutch's shot was deflected in off Modibo Diakite and Fraizer Campbell fired home from 12 yards out.

But substitute Steven Fletcher set up a tense finale from close range.

And in the last minute of injury time, Jack Colback's shot deflected off Steven Caulker and into the net.

Gus Poyet

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Cardiff are now two points above the relegation zone and stay four ahead of Sunderland, who remain bottom of the table.

All the talk coming into the game was about Cardiff owner Vincent Tan's controversial dismissal of manager Mackay.

Tan had told Mackay, who led Cardiff to the Championship title in the summer, to resign or be sacked but appeared to back down, with the Scot being told he would be in charge for the "foreseeable future".

But that foreseeable future lasted just five days and Mackay lost his job after a 3-0 defeat by Southampton on Boxing Day.

Assistant boss David Kerslake was put in temporary charge for the Sunderland game, with Molde boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thought to be Cardiff's first choice as manager.

But if the events of the previous fortnight were having any impact on the players, it certainly did not show early on.

With fans chanting mostly in favour of Mackay rather than against Tan, Cardiff dominated the first 30 minutes.

Cardiff fans

Steven Caulker and Mutch missed with headers before their sixth-minute opener. Campbell won the ball off Valentin Roberge and fed Mutch, whose shot from the edge of the box was deflected home by Diakite.

After Lee Cattermole had Sunderland's first shot deflected wide by one of his team-mates, Cardiff continued their dominance and Caulker headed at Vito Mannone, who then did well to keep out Peter Whittingham's low free-kick from an angle.

Sunderland had a major boost in their relegation battle with a shock 1-0 win over Everton on Boxing Day and, entirely against the run of play, they almost had another crucial goal.

Ki Sung-Yueng forced a save from David Marshall and Jozy Altidore failed to turn the ball in from a yard out at the far post.

David Kerslake

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That started a flurry of Sunderland chances and Fabio Borini forced two excellent fingertip saves from Marshall at the end of the first half before being replaced by Fletcher at the break because of illness.

After a quiet opening to the second half, the game looked sealed when Mutch took on three players and passed it to former Sunderland striker Campbell, whose first-time shot beat Mannone.

Sunderland, who had earlier gone close through Lee Cattermole, had late hope when Fletcher stretched to convert Emanuele Giaccherini's cross.

They pressed for an unlikely looking equaliser after Colback, Fletcher, Roberge and Giaccherini all squandered chances.

But in the fifth minute of injury time it finally arrived when Colback's deflected effort bamboozled Marshall.

For a gallery of images from Saturday's Premier League games go to the BBC Sport Facebook page.

Line-ups

Cardiff

  • 1Marshall
  • 28Théophile-Catherine
  • 42John
  • 18MutchBooked at 1mins
  • 4Caulker
  • 6Turner
  • 16NooneSubstituted forCowieat 72'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 8Medel
  • 10CampbellBooked at 68minsSubstituted forCorneliusat 82'minutes
  • 13Kim Bo-kyungBooked at 58minsSubstituted forGunnarssonat 79'minutes
  • 7Whittingham

Substitutes

  • 5Hudson
  • 9Cornelius
  • 11Odemwingie
  • 17Gunnarsson
  • 19Cowie
  • 23Maynard
  • 32Lewis

Sunderland

  • 25Mannone
  • 2BardsleyBooked at 60mins
  • 3Dossena
  • 33CattermoleBooked at 19minsSubstituted forColbackat 74'minutes
  • 21Diakité
  • 29Roberge
  • 23Giaccherini
  • 7LarssonSubstituted forGardnerat 74'minutes
  • 17Altidore
  • 4Ki Sung-yueng
  • 31BoriniSubstituted forFletcherat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Cabral
  • 8Gardner
  • 9Fletcher
  • 12Celustka
  • 13Pickford
  • 14Colback
  • 22Ba
Referee:
Chris Foy
Attendance:
27,247

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamSunderland
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home16
Away21
Shots on Target
Home7
Away9
Corners
Home6
Away6
Fouls
Home14
Away10

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Man City1913243341
2Arsenal1812331839
3Chelsea1811431537
4Liverpool1811342236
5Everton189721234
6Man Utd1910451034
7Newcastle181035633
8Tottenham18945-531
9Southampton18765727
10Hull19658-123
11Swansea19568-121
12Stoke18567-821
13Aston Villa19559-720
14Norwich195410-1619
15West Brom19397-518
16Cardiff19469-1518
17Crystal Palace195113-1616
18Fulham195113-2216
19West Ham193610-1015
20Sunderland193511-1714
View full Premier League table

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